Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation Bible School


The kids got to attend two nights of Vacation Bible School at Holland Congregational Church, Mimi and Papa's church. Gracie loved the songs but especially doing a 3-legged race with me and playing soccer... Papa eventually rescued me and completed the game... Gracie's heart was pounding out of her chest and she was yelling with joy the whole time!
(I overdid it a little bit at 37 weeks pregnant lugging my precious 6 year around the field and can barely walk today!)

Ana did well, although was so shy that she didn't utter a word the whole night.... until we got safely into the car at which time she couldn't stop talking about the evening. Here she is with two nights' worth of crafts and prizes - HAPPY girl!!!




Monday, July 26, 2010

Car Show

Our kids get such amazing opportunities! Our dear friend, Amanda, kindly agreed to take the kids for us so we could have some adult conversation time with friends from church. Little did I know that the girls would get to go to a car show that was a fund raiser for Crotched Mountain which is New Hampshire's (even New England's?) premier resource for those with disabilities. Gracie was the queen of the day as the only kid in a wheelchair for a while (till some other kids arrived) and both girls got to meet the organizer, ride in amazing antique cars, and got to see "Papa Rick" Butler get a trophy for his antique car entry! The kids also got quite spoiled with yummy snacks and lots of attention!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer fun!

Children's Museum of West Hartford with my ASTC membership - Grandma (Josh's mom) was kind enough to come with us to help me out. I'm 36 weeks pregnant now - any day now... or not?!

Look at this sitting up!

My girls love water play of any sort! (Especially warm water)

Gracie really enjoyed tossing the balls into this game and Ana focused on the physics of it all...

Patio picnic at our house with our friend Anna.

We got to go swimming with our friends Miss Brenda and Anna! Ana is swimming very well "on her own" with her dollar store Nemo inner-tube!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Ana waiting for Gracie's bus

"Is Gracie's yellow school bus here yet, Mama? Gracie!! Gracie!! Where are you? Come home, Gracie! I'm waiting for you! Mom, where's my sister's yellow school bus? Can I have some toys?"

School bus!

Gracie's first day on the school bus! Nervous mommy... ;-P

Gracie was a little mystified at first but quickly started patting the bus driver and grinning... I felt like I should follow the school bus to school or at least call her teacher to make sure she arrived... but I resisted and just worked on deep cleaning the house... why can I only have ONE clean room at a time? I only have two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom to care for!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Orphan Sunday - November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday is on November 7th this year.

You can get involved in a few ways:
1)
Invite your friends to join the Orphan Sunday Facebook Group
2) Plan an event at your church.
3) Browse the resources and events already planned - click the button below.


Support Raising

Another update for those of you interested in how our support raising is going for our move to Uganda as missionaries.

We still hope to leave in January 2011.

We have seen a sudden increase in interest from churches and individuals and have also made some new contacts that have been very helpful of late! We praise God for His work as Josh has gotten VERY busy with emails, phone calls, and trips to connect with churches.

We still need around $3000 per month in monthly support and a lot for outgoing one-time expenses but we are so encouraged with the "change in the winds" that we have seen now with so much interest in our ministries!

If you have any contacts that would be useful for us (Uganda, missionary families with special needs kids, doctors in East Africa, teaching pastors in Africa, etc.), please pass our name along!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flamingos, frogs, and churches

(Loving sisters in IL admiring day-lilies!)

(Me at 33 weeks gestation, Gracie as the pillow, cousin Isaiah, and Ana)

We had the opportunity to take the kids to the children's museum, zoo, and nature museum in Chicago - what fun! It was SO hot, so the indoor activities were quite welcome!

Josh's uncle Jim took us around to a few churches at the end of the week to meet the pastors or others to hand them one of our packets of info about our missionary plans. It was such an encouragement to us to have meaningful conversations with some churches and individuals about Uganda and missions. Our base of support is growing, slowly but surely!


(Frogs have smooth skin, toads have bumpy skin.)




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adoption Support Conference

Show Hope (granted us with a generous sum for Gracie's adoption) is partnering with Empowered To Connect to present the Empowered To Connect Conference during September 10-11, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

"We are excited to host this conference in order to provide needed information, resources, support and encouragement to families who are considering adopting, fostering or those who have adopted. Show Hope has been blessed to provide financial grants to assist families in the adoption process, but we also desire to provide information and support prior to the adoption as well as to help equip families once their child comes home. This conference will be beneficial to any family who has answered the call to adopt or for families considering adopting as well as professionals and members of orphan care ministries. We encourage everyone to attend both days, if possible.

"Day One is specifically designed for those focused on serving and supporting others, including social workers, agency professionals, church staff and ministry leaders, counselors, therapists, adoption and orphan advocates, and others involved in adoption and foster care ministries or services.

"Day Two is tailored to the needs of adoptive and foster parents (pre and post adoption and foster care).


Wendy Cosby
Program Director
Show Hope

www.showhope.org
(o) 615.550.5600 ext. 107
(fax) 615.595.0850

www.howtoadopt.org
Property of Show Hope"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Illinois vacation

Yes, I wrote VACATION - can you believe we're on vacation?! We're visiting Josh's extended family in IL. Besides the heat (which is apparently just as dramatic in New England right now!), it's very relaxing to be here, but we have no internet access!

At nearly 34 weeks, I have officially entered the miserable-pregnancy-stage, a little earlier than with my previous fall/winter pregnancy as I'm not handling the 100 degree weather well!

We went to a sprinkler park "Splash Pad" with the cousins and Gracie actually LOVED it! We stripped down her convaid (which I wanted to wash anyway!) and left her in her chair so I could just push her through the sprinklers. She loved it! It was such a hot day and the water wasn't ice cold and she didn't have to get her muscles and body to do anything while enjoying the water. It was so great to see her enjoying a kid activity without lots of effort. It was also great that I could push her instead of physically lifting her around which limits the activity to my energy span (quickly declining).





June update

Rattin family preparations for pastoral and medical ministry in Northern Uganda with Action International Ministries.

June 30, 2010
Dear friends,

June took us by surprise. Suddenly it’s summer time!

Five Graduations in the Rattin Family

We are grateful for God’s providence for us as we achieved milestones in our final preparations for the mission field! Within the last two months, Josh graduated from Southern Theological Seminary with his Masters in Divinity. Abby graduated from UMass Amherst with her Masters’ in Public Health. Gracie graduated from Kindergarten. Ana graduated out of pull-ups. And “Baby Brother” graduated into the 3rd trimester of pregnancy!

Kids’ Korner

Gracie graduated kindergarten this month – she’ll continue into summer school and 1st grade in the fall in her same intensive needs classroom in public school as we finish up our preparations to move to Uganda. We’re learning everything we can about how to best educate her on our own and provide all her therapies on our own. When we move to Uganda, we’ll be shifting from an intensive needs classroom, therapies in school, and 5 sessions of therapies outside of school to homeschooling with all therapies provided by us! Pray for us as we learn how to best provide for her! She’s an amazing, loving kid and we praise God for this season of great health! Ana is excited about baby brother coming at the end of the summer. She is working on new skills daily and is so much fun and full of character! We’re working on important “missionary kid” skills with the girls: learning more daily about our amazing God first and foremost, but also, not being picky with food, being friendly and polite, and being flexible in expectations.

Book Nook

Abby: For those interested in community health, I highly recommend the following book (as well as others by the Hesperian Foundation): Disabled Village Children (http://hesperian.org/index.php). This is a book written for community health workers, designed for low-resource settings. It describes how to make equipment that is sustainable, able to be manufactured in the community, and is easy to use.

Uganda Blurb:

We will be primarily ministering with the Acholi people of Northern Uganda. They have finally emerged from decades of civil war and rebel activity. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) took many of the Acholi children captive to serve as child soldiers and slaves. The LRA is now out of Uganda, likely hiding in the jungles of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Northern Uganda is now trying to rebuild, reunite, and heal. We will focus our first year in Uganda on learning Acholi language (a Luo language that is tonal) and culture. It will be especially important for Josh to speak Acholi well so that he can minister directly to pastors in remote areas and their congregations. It is also important for Abby to learn Acholi well so that she can gain trust to go into village homes, find children with special needs, and help provide what these kids and their families need to survive and thrive.

Prayer Requests:
- Wisdom and smooth transitions in bringing in a new pastor for our church.
- Focused priorities.
- Our condo to sell at our “break-even point” (or higher?) in the next 6 months.
- Continued good health for Gracie and Abby & baby (and the whole family!).
- Increased prayer and financial support.

Departure date: January 2011 (goal)
Current Level of support: 40% of our needed monthly support, ~10% of our needed outgoing funds.

WWW.ACTIONINTERNATIONAL.ORG/RATTIN

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